How to enjoy the countryside considerately

5 minute read.

Enjoying a walk in the countryside is a great way to enjoy our wonderful local landscapes, be it on your own, with your faithful four-legged friend, or with a group of people.

A few simple tips for helping to keep you, your friends and family, your dog, and the livestock you may encounter safe when out walking so you can fully enjoy the experience.

Observe your surroundings - 

Wherever there could be livestock present walk calmly and quietly keeping a look out for animals, particularly those with young or bulls. When entering a field you won’t always be able to see the entire area, so you’ll need to be aware there maybe animals present.

Take the best route - 

Keep to footpaths, but give livestock plenty of space. Keep any possible exits in sight. Don’t panic or run if cattle follow you - stay calm and walk quickly and quietly around the herd. Remember cows can be protective of their young so avoid getting between cows and their calves. If you are unsure, or concerned then choose an alternative route.  If there are crops in the field, choose a route that will not damage the crops, keeping near the hedge if possible.

Control your dog - 

If you have a dog with you keep it close by your side and under control. Where there are cows and sheep put it on a lead. Remember, cows are nosey and may come to investigate. Unfortunately, hundreds of sheep are killed every year by dogs off of the lead and many more lose unborn lambs from sheep worrying. Farmers really appreciate considerate dog walkers.

Bag it and bin it - 

Unfortunately, dogs can spread diseases to farm animals, such neospora, but most can easily be prevented by ensuring you clean up after your dog. Not letting your dog climb into drinking troughs and making sure their worming regime is up to date makes a difference too.

Consideration -

Leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths, leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home, be considerate where you park your vehicle not blocking gateways or access to fields. By law, cyclists must give way to walkers and horse-riders on bridleways.

Enjoy a Red Tractor picnic - 

If you’re packing a picnic to enjoy in the great British countryside, don’t forget to look out for the Red Tractor logo on the foods you buy. The logo, carrying the Union Flag, not only shows that food has been produced in the UK but also that it meets good standards of animal welfare as well as respect for the environment.